• Autumn,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Thoughts

    October, Lately

    This October – different from all other Octobers. The last of the warm early autumn weather has faded away and it definitely feels like fall now. I caught a bit of a nostalgia wave this week, as I am wont to do in the autumn. Eleven years ago I was visiting one of my best friends in Berlin for two weeks, having the time of my life. Ten years ago was another one of the best Octobers on record with epic festivals, parties, being one of maybe twenty-five people to see one of my favorite bands play Sunset Tavern in Ballard, Seattle. Eight years ago, living the Scottish life as…

  • Autumn,  Czech Republic,  Lifestyle

    Little Cottage in the Woods

    Even though the weather forecast for our early autumn cottage holiday weekend looked comically grim, there wasn’t a thought in my mind to cancel. We’d been hoping to go for an unplugged, off-the-grid weekend since late summer, but after returning from Croatia in August, we decided it would be much better appreciated if we waited until the long weekend at the end of September. Fortunately I packed for the cold — lots of woolly knits — and I’m so glad I did because it just did not stop raining. We arrived in the dark on Friday evening to pouring rain, which continued straight until early Sunday morning. When you stay…

  • Summer,  Thoughts,  Yearly Recap

    At Summer’s End

    Someone recently asked me “What did you do this summer?” and when I told them, they proceeded to sort of frown over my answer. Better put into a metaphor: This summer was like having a best friend come to visit for three months, but finding that you don’t get along as well as you always have, and when they leave, it’s sort of on a weird note and you don’t quite know how you feel about it, compared to their previous visits. Our holiday in Croatia in early-mid August was really the only concrete thing or the easiest to mention, but this summer was more full of small moments of…

  • Daily Life,  Eats,  Herbalism,  Recipe,  Summer

    Three-Day Seasonal Eating Menu: Late Summer

    Here in South Bohemia, like many other parts of the country (and maybe where you live, too), we are lucky to have a bounty of gorgeous vegetables in season this time of year. Five or six years ago I subscribed to our CSA (community-supported agriculture) vegetable box which is usually only available about May-late October, and it has provided us with such delicious organic produce over the years, some vegetables that were totally unknown to me before coming here. (Achocha? Kohlrabi? I had never eaten both in my life!) In between boxes, I’m always at the bi-weekly farmer’s market picking up eggs (especially), fruit and whatever else looks good or…

  • Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  Minimalism,  Summer

    Upgrade Season

    The end of summer is always upgrade season for us kids. It’s usually the time of the year that we come back from whatever summer adventures we’ve undertaken, walk in our house and say man, that table’s got to go or I can’t believe we still haven’t got that print framed. You see, we’ve lived in a furnished flat since the beginning of 2013. Most of our furniture is used and loved hand-me-downs (which I am so, so grateful to have been able to use!) or just whatever furniture that friends of ours don’t want anymore. Because we never knew how long we’d stay, I’ve always been reluctant to purchase…

  • Summer,  Travel,  TravelTips

    Croatia in a Pandemic Summer

    Hi, friends. How have you been enjoying the summer? It’s funny that the biggest hindrance to writing new posts these days involves the photo part — uploading them from my finicky phone (or rather, from my new phone to my finicky old computer), editing them, rounding other random snaps from Google Photo. It’s 2020 – you’ve got to think there’s a better way? (or likely there is, and I’m far too stubborn) But regardless, here we are! We spent much of August in Croatia this year. Like many who were able to travel this summer, I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to post about it on social media. In…

  • Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  South Bohemia,  Summer

    The Saturday of Summer

    July, my favorite month of all – the Saturday of summer! It blew in with a flurry of gatherings, barbecues and a spot of camping at a lake (Lipno, naturally) at the beginning of the month. Camping in Europe has been… interesting. This was our third camping trip here in Central Europe and I have to say, I really prefer American camping a bit better! Usually for tent campers, you get literally just a patch of grass on which to pitch your tent and nothing else. No picnic table or fire pit unless you go to a campground with a bit more of a bougie situation. Also, we don’t have…

  • czech culture,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life

    Is the Czech Republic the Dog-Friendliest Country in Europe?

    When you live across the world from family and you have a dog, you can pretty much just plan on bringing your dog everywhere with you. Face it – you have little other choice. (I love my dog, but I’m not bringing him everywhere because I necessarily have to have him near me) This was the first consideration we had when deciding which breed – it had to be small and incredibly portable. Also, it helped that we knew from four years of experience living here just how dog friendly the Czech Republic really is. If we had to bring our dog everywhere, there is no better country to do…

  • Czech Republic,  Film,  Karlovy Vary

    Looking Back on KVIFF: Film Festival Memories

    It doesn’t really feel like summer in the Czech Republic for us without KVIFF – the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. We’ve been attending nearly every year since we arrived here and as you may have guessed, they made the wise decision to cancel what would have been the 55th edition taking place this week. It hasn’t all been a no-film doom and gloom scenario, though. As I’ve raved about on social media, KVIFF participated in the We Are One Global Film Festival in late May, along with something like sixteen other festivals (such as Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Berlin, etc) and it was such an incredibly enriching experience to have…

  • Life Abroad,  Summer,  Thoughts

    This Fourth of July

    As we moved from the United States to the Czech Repubilc, I assumed we’d be trading one country’s national day for another. Turns out, which is not altogether surprising if you are familiar with Czech/Czechoslovak history, the Czech Republic doesn’t exactly celebrate their national day – there is none of the fervor that is associated with American Independence Day. The history of the 20th century has made things a lot more complicated. There is Independent Czechoslovak State Day (October 28th) when Czechoslovakia declared their independence, maybe the closest thing to Independence Day there is here, but also Restoration of the Independent Czech State (January 1st), when the Czech Republic as…